Toronto Blue Jays Add Another Former Astro, Claim Juan Abreu From Waivers

By Thom Tsang

…because hell, why not?

Not content with acquiring just 3 players from the Houston Astros organization from the J.A. Happ trade, the Toronto Blue Jays added one more today, claiming AAA reliever Juan Abreu from the waiver wire. The 27-year old righty made his MLB debut with the Astros in 2011, appearing in 7 games and striking out 12 batters in 6.2 innings. That’s some pretty eye-popping stuff, and his 10.64 K/9 in 45.2 AAA innings this season backs up the hard thrower’s strikeout abilities with his mid-to-high 90’s fastball/curve combo.

There’s a reason why he’s been in AAA all season, though – Abreu’s strikeouts come at a cost: he just doesn’t really know where the ball is going to end up, as his 6.70 BB/9 will attest to. The ugly walk numbers, combined with equally ugly home-run tendencies (2.36 HR/9), have resulted in a 7.09/1.75 ERA/WHIP for the reliever, and that makes him a little more than minor league depth for the Blue Jays at this point. Of course, given that the team has been calling up minor league relievers as a daily routine these days, we can probably expect Abreu to be in the bullpen by the end of the weekend (I’m joking about that…I think). There is some tantalizing strikeout potential there if the Blue Jays can fix the righty’s control problems, after all.

The odd man out in the acquisition is Scott Richmond, who has appeared in 3 games for the Blue Jays this season as a reliever, and has been designated for assignment to make room for Abreu in the 40-man roster.

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